Houses for sale in Ottawa

The City of Toronto’s dedicated housing agency, CreateTO, released an update on the ‘Housing Now’ initiative earlier this month, and one of the bigger takeaways: there are some major names in development that will be instrumental in bringing these projects to fruition.

Off the top: the planned developments are set to draw in the likes of KingSett Capital, Greenwin, Tridel, Kilmer-Tricon, Ellis Don, and Windmill — amongst more.

The June 5 update from CreateTO Chief Executive Officer, Vic Gupta, gets into the specifics of the forthcoming Housing Now projects, and, in part, identifies three “priority housing sites”: 5207 Dundas Street West, 140 Merton Street, and 50 Wilson Heights Boulevard.

Notably, construction is now underway at the 5207 Dundas Street West site, and it marks the first Housing Now site of the bunch to make material progress — but it does come over four years after the initiative’s initial launch, mind you, which speaks to the program’s sluggish and haphazard start. In any case, the project will be brought to market thanks to a partnership between Kilmer Group and Tricon Residential, and will eventually lead to the delivery of 725 new residential homes, including 218 affordable rental homes. First occupancy is expected by 2027.

CreateTO’s update notes that the site is one of five blocks at Bloor Kipling that were identified for housing development through Housing Now, and that those five development blocks will deliver at least 2,781 residential homes, 904 of which will be affordable rental homes.

140 Merton Street

140 Merton Street is another “priority” site that is set to bring 294 new rental homes in a 29-storey tower to the site near the intersection of Yonge Street and Davisville Avenue. Plans for this particular project were filed in mid-May, and will be made possible thanks to a partnership between Missanabie Cree First Nation and Ellis Don Community Builders. CreateTO’s update notes that construction launch is targeted for September 2024.

The site plan application that was filed last month is reflection of revised zoning, which seeks to add 11 more storeys to what was originally planned. “The City’s Priority Development Review Team continues to work with the Proponents on key site plan items in an effort to expedite the formal site plan review process,” Gupta writes. “The proponent’s CMHC application was approved by CMHC’s credit committee on March 20, 2024.”

50 Wilson Heights Boulevard

The third “priority site” is at 50 Wilson Heights Boulevard, and partners for the project have been identified as Greenwin, Tridel, and KingSett. The site is currently planned to accommodate 1,484 new residential homes, including 520 affordable rental homes, 520 market rental homes, and 444 market condominium homes. Like the Merton Street project, construction is now expected to launch in 2024.

CreateTO’s update additionally notes that the project includes a new childcare centre, commercial space, a park and a community space for non-profit organizations, and that “the proponent team is working on clearing conditions for ‘release for construction of services’ to enable mobilization and site servicing construction launch of Phase 1 of the project, together with a site plan resubmission filed on March 5, 2024.”

Further Developments

On top of all of the above, it appears from CreateTO’s progress update that partners have been nailed down for 777 Victoria Park Avenue (Alterra and Mahogany), 705 Warden Avenue (Greenwin and KingSett), 2444 Eglinton Avenue East (Windmill, Civic Developments, and Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto), and 263 Queen’s Wharf (Hines).

For the 2444 Eglinton Avenue East site specifically, a development application has recently come into play, and that project is poised to mark quite a milestone for affordable housing for both the city and the province. Plans involve three new towers, including a 31-storey building that will rise alongside 19- and 41 storey co-op buildings. With 919 new units proposed — including 306 affordable co-op units, 306 non-profit market co-op units, and 307condos — the development is expected to be “one of the largest affordable housing projects in Ontario in the past 25 years and the province’s largest co-operative housing development.”

In total, the City of Toronto has identified 22 sites across Toronto for Housing Now since the program was launched. Collectively, these sites are estimated to produce over 16,000 new homes, with approximately one-third of those being affordable rentals.

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